Michael Kroger Quits As Victorian Liberals President
Victorian Liberal Party President Michael Kroger has resigned, telling members that when his own supporters say it's time to go, then he should probably go.
Kroger, who has been under pressure to vacate the job since his party's devastating state election loss, also indicated his responsibility in the election result saying, "the buck stops at the top".
His comments came in an internal email sent to members on Friday, notifying them that he had advised a meeting of the Victorian Liberal state assembly that he would stand down.
Kroger said that given the federal election is in May next year he had until today thought it appropriate to remain as president of the party's Victorian division to ensure stability.
"However, upon reading various newspaper articles today I think that when your own supporters are basically telling you it is time to go, then it is probably time to go," Kroger wrote.
After some administrative comments about the need to elect a new president, Kroger told members to remember that the president "cannot control everything in the party".
"Many things have happened during my presidency about which I am unhappy but this is the nature of politics. Ultimately, however, the buck stops at the top," he said.
"These are difficult times for the Liberal Party.
"The future of our country is at stake as the threat looms of a Shorten government which would be Australia's worst nightmare.
"The Victorian Division needs unity, strength and a renewed sense of purpose and given the public bloodletting since last Saturday I think it is better that the Party move forward now rather than wait until the end of March."
Kroger said last weekend's election result was "profoundly disappointing" and the party had lost a good person in Matthew Guy.
"Rightly or wrongly, when governments at a state level are seen to "do things" they are always harder to beat," he said, referring to Labor.
"This is especially the case when the party at a federal level is exhibiting signs of instability."
"It is now time for all Liberals to put aside their differences at every level of the party and work towards the party's most urgent and major goal which is the re-election of Scott Morrison as Prime Minister of Australia."
These comments differ to earlier comments to Sky News by Kroger that the federal situation had little to do with the state election and that Labor had won on policy alone.
The resignation comes as the party faces losing seats that have always been Liberal - most notably the seat of Caulfield, which is in a knife-edge battle between Liberal MP David Southwick and Labor's Sorina Grasso.
The latest figures from the Victorian Electoral Commission show Grasso ahead by 118 votes.